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While we think every day is women’s day, March 8 is International Women’s Day, so we figured there’s no better way to celebrate and honor the unofficial holiday by showcasing some of our favorite female-founded brands and businesses worthy of our support. Shopping with a purpose—whether buying from Black and Asian-American Owned companies, spending your hard-earned cash on philanthropic-focussed labels, or showing up for independent brands—has never been easier, thanks to a rise in transparency and a heightened desire to shop consciously.
While male-to-female ratios in businesses are slowly becoming a little bit less polarized compared to previous decades, the current stats in leadership are, quite frankly, still rather disappointing. Alas, there’s no doubt that we (and by we, I mean people of all genders, not just those of us who identify as women) still have a lot of work to do when it comes to gender disparities in executive roles and equal pay. Fortunately, we can all do our part and pledge our support to boost our fellow Boss babes by shopping from all the inspiring ladies and female entrepreneurs currently leading some of the most innovative beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands on the market right now.
Best of all, many of these female-founded and female-run companies are offering additional shopping incentives in honor of IWD, including donating portions of sale proceeds to charities and organizations that uplift women and support the advancement of gender equality. Scroll through below to check out 25 of our favorite brands and retailers to shop from all month long (or anytime, for that matter!).
M.M. La Fleur
Founder, fashion designer, and CEO Sarah Miyazawa LaFleur launched M.M. La Fleur as a response to a gap in chic apparel options available for females in the workforce back in 2013. La Fleur partnered with Miyako Nakamura (the former head designer oat Zac Posen) and Narie Foster, making this female-founded brand a triple threat. “When women succeed, the world becomes a better place. Our goal is to take the work out of getting dressed so that you can focus on the work that matters to you,” she says.
Co-founder and CEO Coral Chung launched SENREVE in 2016 inspired by “the women who do it all,” and “to focus on developing beautiful and versatile products that address that ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ of the modern woman.” Over the past few years, the luxury handbag and accessory line have grown tremendously, and the brand has kept philanthropy, sustainability and inclusivity as a core and guiding principle for all of SENREVE’s endeavors.
Makeup artist and beauty industry vet Petra Strand launched Pixi Beauty over two decades ago debuting a flagship boutique in the U.K. and offering a luxe collection of premium skincare and cosmetics at accessible price points (this was kind of unheard of for the beauty back then, TBH). Since then, the brand has grown tremendously, but the core ethos of Pixi Beauty remains the same — offering products that help you “look like you, your best you.”
Just like its badass cofounders (and BFFs) LaLa Romero and Natalia Durazo, Bella Doña was born and raised in LA and inspired by Los Angeles, nostalgia for the ’00s and the ’90s, and Chicano culture and style. In fact, rather than drawing inspo from models and influencers, Romero and Durazzo are more intrigued by how a working mom of three nails that perfect winged liner that stays put after a 12-hour shift or how the girls in their neighborhood are styling loungewear and adjusting to pandemic fashion. I don’t mean to play favorites, but after meeting (virtually, of course) with the founders, I left feeling like I had finally found a brand that’s truly doing something different — and doing things the right (i.e. unapologetically authentic) way. Oh, they also own a rad beauty brand, Sweet Street Cosmetics that I also recommend checking out too.
The Honey Pot Co.
If you think about it, it really makes more sense to buy feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads from someone who actually has a period, am I right? Founded by Bea Dixon after a bout of chronic bacterial vaginosis (BV), this plant-based, eco-friendly, and organic feminine care line aims to offer healthy, pH-balanced products that make your vagina happy and deal with, well, having a vagina a little less of a hassle.
Jen Gotch founded Ban.do in 2008 because “we loved laughing, connecting and designing things that made people happy.” Gotch has been candid about her struggles both in her career life and her personal affairs, advocating for greater visibility and reduced stigma for mental illness (she was one of the first brands to be vocal about these prevalent concerns, and I love for it). Over a decade later, their commitment to fostering an inclusive community and workplace and supporting independent artists, designers, and female brands remains firmly intact.
Paola Mathé founded Fanm Djanm in Harlem back in 2020 (a rough year for starting a business, to be sure), debuting a collection of eight head wraps, which the founder sold directly from her apartment on the weekends when she first launched. Now, the brand has transformed into a headwrap line to a bona fide lifestyle brand that creates sustainably-sourced and manufactured pieces and focuses on serving her community and, overall, the empowerment of women — whether entrepreneurs or not.
Founded by entrepreneur Laura Currie, Prospect is an online art retailer that aims to champion both renowned and up-and-coming female artists with the overarching goal of making fine art accessible to everyone — not just galleries and high-profile collectors. The brand works with iconic contemporary female artists like Madelaine Buttini, Judy Chicago, Bonam Kim, and Katherine Bernhardt to create limited-edition art and design objects bringing top-tier art to the masses, all without the pretense.
Founded by lifestyle entrepreneur Katherine Power, MERIT, a clean beauty brand keeps supporting females as a whole, and uplifting other like-minded female-owned brands as a core value. For the entire month of March MERIT, will be celebrating International Women’s Day by partnering with like-minded, female-founded brands for a special initiative, including fashion designer Anine Bing and FOR TMRW, a non-toxic nail care brand. From March 1 through March 29, MERIT will launch a new gift with a purchase from each brand each week, along with social content featuring interviews with the founders of each brand partner.
Electric Picks Jewelry
Celebrity-loved (Hailey Bieber and Elsa Hook are fans) and female-founded jewelry brand (founded by besties best friends MJ Carlson and Chantel Gia), Electric Picks, will be donating 20 percent of all sales on International Women’s Day, to Dress for Success, an organization that seeks to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional apparel and workwear staples, and development tools to help women find success and enrichment in both their careers and personal lives.
Sophia Amoruso founded Nasty Gal in 2006 out of her tiny San Francisco apartment, with the goal of selling an edited assortment of vintage pieces online to fellow cool-girls and secondhand hunters, but fate had other plans for the young entrepreneur. In 2012, the e-tailer was named the “Fastest Growing Retailer” by INC Magazine, and almost a decade later it’s still going strong. In honor of Internation Women’s Day, NG has launched a “Babe With The Power” capsule collection, chock-full of graphic tees, loungewear, and accessories celebrating womanhood and female empowerment.
By Samii Ryan
By Samii Ryan, is a female-owned fashion label launched by designer Samantha Franz back in 2017. Sammi Ryan specializes in novelty loungewear and playful streetwear styles, with each piece drawing inspiration from unrequited love and youth culture (as a millennial, Franz grew up in the ’90s and ’00s). Within just a few years of launching her first collection, Franz was has recognized by the industry as one of the 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 honorees.
Native American-owned fashion and lifestyle brand, BYELLOWTAIL was founded in Los Angeles, CA by indigenous artist Bethany Yellowtail. Yellowtail fosters her culture and its traditions at the heart of everything the brand creates and releases, aiming to share authentic indigenous creativity with the world, while also prioritizing economic opportunities for First peoples of Indigenous North America.
Asian-American founder Tina Craig launched U Beauty with the ultimate goal of trying to help women (and skincare users of any gender) simply their routine and cut down on waste while offering effective, gentle, and sustainable skincare treatments that don’t compromise quality or performance. “I never felt represented in the beauty world, or anywhere culturally, for that matter. So I decided to represent myself. I’ve felt seen because I have demanded to be seen. I’ve simply never accepted anything less,” Craig told StyleCaster contributor Jennifer Chan of her journey in navigating entrepreneurship as not only a female but as a minority and working mother as well.
Founder, CEO and bona fide #BeautyBoss Alicia Grande launched Grande Cosmetics in 2008 with their first drop and, in my humble opinion, the brand’s hero product to this very day, GrandeLash-MD Serum (a product that has dramatically transformed by long, but formerly limp and lackluster lashes over the course of the pandemic). Since then, the PETA-approved advanced beauty line has expanded into complexion cosmetics and amassed a large cult following to boot. “My humble beginnings started at the kitchen table and our shipping department was my garage,” says Grande of the early days. “Today, I’m proud to say that we have grown into a complete beauty brand.”
Sylvie Ganter, co-founder of Atelier Cologne (along with her partner in both life and business, Christophe Cervasel) helped launch the luxury fragrance label in 2009, giving birth to their debut scent—and frankly, a new olfactive family altogether, “Cologne Absolue.” “We met for the first time in New York in 2006 and very quickly we fell in love. We discovered that we share the same passion for the legendary Eau de Cologne and that we were on the same ongoing search for a Cologne of character, elegant and fresh at the same time with exceptionally long-lasting power,” says the working mom.
Chic and female-founded lunch box alternative brand (TBH, I use my Luncher as a normal handbag), Modern Picnic will be celebrating International Women’s Day this year by launching a selection of limited edition “I’m Speaking” lunchboxes. This special edition Luncher bag made its debut on President’s Day, but after a huge response, Modern Picnic will be relaunching the bag in all six colorways. Additionally, Modern Picnic has partnered with Dress For Success and will be donating 20 percent of the proceeds during March to the organization, with the hope of empowering women and providing resources to help women start their careers.
Sales executive and PRO-Am dancer Robyn Shreiber and Creative Director, Daniella Clarke recently launched footwear brand, Beautiisoles to shatter the notion that beauty is pain and to reconcile the tension that shoe lovers face when trying to choose between style versus comfort. With aesthetics and design at the forefront of their chic designs, the brand also utilizes cutting-edge technology to ensure the utmost in comfort, including enhanced shock absorption and antimicrobial fabric and materials.
In honor of IWD (and just the celebration of powerful females in general), Amanda Mustard has launched the Alphabet of Extraordinary Women collection. Each letter of the alphabet is accounted for (my name starts with M so min is Michelle Obama !!!) but if you can’t choose just one woman to honor, there’s also an awesome collage that features all of the celebrated women in the series (which also includes AOC, Beyonce, Vice President Kamala Harris, and of course, the late RBG just to name a select few).
Founded by working mom and breast cancer survivor Kelsey Bucci, Paris Laundry is a premium e-commerce website that offers a curated assortment of non-toxic beauty, home, fashion, and lifestyle products—all of which are tested for efficacy and screened for any harmful ingredients. The online shop also features a large list of women-founded and female-owned brands, including Captain Blankenship and Kari Gran (just to name a select few).
In the late 2000’s Ciaté’s founder and “very own Beauty Boss,” Charlotte Knight started to harness her knowledge and experience in the studio and the salon to develop Ciaté London, which was first launched as a nailcare brand. Since the early days, Charlotte has successfully transformed and expanded the brand, launching not only nail products but also color cosmetics, complexion and skincare as well. “I launched my brand, Ciaté London, after years as an industry insider working on sets, in-salon and backstage at fashion week. Working with so many creative minds and incredible women at the forefront and behind the scenes of the beauty industry, it was never a thought that being a woman in business might hold me back,” Knight says.
Creator of the ultimate spill-proof travel makeup case, MISS SWISS (twenty-four-year-old, Ashley Piszek) is donating 20 percent of all sales to Women for Women International—an organization that provides women and their loved ones in war-torn areas with “resources, skills and knowledge” to help build sustainable change.
Kadalys founder Shirley Billot launched this premium skincare back in 2012 brand to merge her Creole heritage, her passion for plant research, the lesser-known benefits of the Banana Tree. “I wanted to create ethical skincare products without compromise between high performance, natural ingredients, and eco-consciousness. I believe in ethical, inclusive capitalism. Beyond holistic beauty, it is a vision of beauty that is committed, gives back, shares, and preserves.” she says of her line.
Founder Samantha Handler created KicksBySammy as a young, emerging artist in 2017 to marry her passion for both art and fashion into one online business, offering custom art and limited-edition collections. In fact, each item is made to order—which is a rarity in this day and age. In honor of International Women’s Day KicksBySammy has released a limited-edition collection of accessories to celebrate and honor women.